If you venture onto certain, kind-of well-known “sleuthing” sites and Facebook pages dedicated to this case, you will be deceived into believing that there is only one point of view on Chase Merritt’s guilt or innocence.  When, in fact, there are many.  The only reason it might appear that there is a consensus is because differing views have been pretty much silenced.  

There is nothing necessarily wrong with a blog, website or Facebook page operating this way.  But it would be nice if these forums stopped pretending to be objective.

And these sites love to conduct polls.  Why? For what purpose?  What exactly is polling a censored forum going to show? The outcome is guaranteed.  Ridiculous. 

It proves nothing.

What these forums resemble more are microcosms of  totalitarianism, and quite frankly, ignorance. Most of those posting haven’t even been watching the trial.  And the nature of these forums contradict what sleuthing or crime solving or even problem solving consists of.  Healthy debate is the cornerstone of any free society, it is also how we learn. If a person’s ideas are never challenged it is easier to believe in fallacies.  That is why in science there are peer reviews.  This is why we have trials, rather than automatically locking everyone up who might have committed a crime.

Healthy debate is a form of vetting and of learning.  And the lack of healthy debate on many of these so-called crime solving forums is why most who inhabit these spaces never truly advance in their understanding of any subject matter. Most of these participants are no more well informed today, than they were 7 years ago, and likely will be no better informed 7 years from now then they are at this moment.

A quick google search will lead you to these sites-and it is not difficult to figure out when you have landed on one.

These sites are good for a giggle.  But a man’s life hangs in the balance, so not so funny when taken in that context.

You won’t find diversity of thought in these sunken places.  If you want to know how the public at large feels, #Mcstay on twitter and the Law&Crime Youtube Law & Crime: McStay Trial comments section for this trial are the best places to view. 

And while you are there, maybe try actually watching the trial before posting about it.  Freedom of speech doesn’t have to be garbage driven, it can be well informed.

There are lots of different opinions about this case. And there likely will always be a lot of different opinions.